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Press Release: Breakin’ Convention Presents Yaman Okur & Jean-Philippe Collard-Neven

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Wednesday 12 June 2019

Breakin’ Convention Presents
Yaman Okur & Jean-Philippe Collard-Neven
1mm Au Dessus Du Sol
Lilian Baylis Studio, EC1R 4TN
Friday 27 - Saturday 28 September 2019
Performances: Friday & Saturday at 8pm
Tickets: £17
Ticket Office: 020 7863 8000 or www.sadlerswells.com

Showcasing the finest full-length hip-hop creations, Breakin’ Convention Presents returns to Sadler’s Wells’ Lilian Baylis Studio with 1mm Au Dessus Du Sol (1mm Above the Floor) from acclaimed French choreographer Yaman Okur in collaboration with Sébastien Lefrançois, on 27 and 28 September 2019.


Breakin’ Convention Presents is a platform for established hip hop theatre-makers to demonstrate full-length works, as well as welcoming creations by contemporary choreographers working with street dance forms. Its inaugural performance in 2018 featured Pierre Rigal’s Scandale.


Having first performed at Breakin’ Convention 2010 as part of Pro Phenomen, Yaman Okur is widely recognised as one of the most innovative b-boys in the world. For 1mm Au Dessus Du Sol, created with fellow choreographer Sébastien Lefrançois and company Trafic De Styles, he performs with jazz pianist, Jean-Philippe Collard-Neven. Using his unique style of breaking, musicality and various props, Okur gives the illusion of floating, levitating and seamlessly travelling through mid-air.


Artistic Director and founder of Breakin’ Convention, Jonzi D, comments: “Unlike Breakin’ Convention the festival, which is a full-on experience of many different artists and activities, Breakin’ Convention Presents is a chance for audiences to really focus in on one artist and to get under the skin of their particular vision. It’s a great way of shining a magnifying glass upon a specific artist’s practice.


“Okur is one of the most special dancers that I've seen. We’re really excited to be showcasing his work at Breakin’ Convention Presents in 2019.”

Jonzi D is a Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist 


About Sadler’s Wells

Sadler’s Wells is a world-leading creative organisation dedicated to dance in all its forms. With over three centuries of theatrical heritage and a year-round programme of performances and learning activities, it is the place where artists come together to create dance, and where people of all backgrounds come to experience it – to take part, learn, experiment and be inspired. 


Its vision is to reflect and respond to the world through dance: enabling artists of all backgrounds to create dance that moves us and opens our minds, and sharing those experiences with the widest possible audiences – to enrich their lives and deepen their understanding of what it means to be human.


Audiences of over half a million come to Sadler’s Wells’ three London theatres each year, with many more enjoying its touring productions at venues across the UK and around the world, and accessing its content through digital channels. Sadler's Wells commissions, produces and presents more dance than any other theatre in the world, embracing the popular and the unknown. Since 2005, it has helped to bring over 170 new dance works to the stage, many of them involving its 16 Associate Artists, three Resident Companies and four Associate Companies – the most exciting talents working in dance today. 


Sadler’s Wells nurtures the next generation of talent through a number of artist development initiatives and reaches over 30,000 annually through its learning and engagement programmes.


Located in Islington, north London, Sadler’s Wells’ current building is the sixth to have stood on site since entrepreneur Richard Sadler first established the theatre in 1683. The venue has played an illustrious role in the history of theatre ever since, with The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and English National Opera having all started at Sadler's Wells.

Sadler’s Wells is to open an additional mid-scale venue in east London in 2022. The new space will be at the heart of the East Bank project, a new cultural and education district in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, which will also include BBC, UAL’s London College of Fashion, UCL and the V&A in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution. As well as a 550-seat auditorium, Sadler’s Wells’ new venue will include a choreographic centre and a hip hop theatre academy, the first of their kind in the world to be run by a theatre.



About Breakin’ Convention 

Breakin' Convention represents the origins and evolution of hip hop culture from around the world and around the corner. It is world-renowned for hip hop dance theatre. Through its international festivals and professional development programme, Breakin' Convention is at the vanguard of the global development of hip hop theatre artists. 


Supporting the artistic vison of hip hop theatre pioneer Jonzi D, Breakin’ Convention is part of Sadler’s Wells and produces its flagship annual festival there. It is one of the most prestigious platforms for dance theatre in the world. Since its inception in 2003, the festival has been pivotal to the development of the global hip hop theatre scene; touring nationally since 2007 and internationally since 2013, Breakin’ Convention has reached live audiences of over 100,000.

Breakin’ Convention is committed to the development of hip hop theatre artists by providing a variety of participatory opportunities. These include professional development programmes for choreographers, dancers and emcees, projects for young people and educational activities in schools as well as bespoke special events.


In the next five years, these projects will culminate in the opening of a new hip hop theatre academy, within the new Sadler's Wells venue in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, east London. As well as a mid-scale auditorium, this new Sadler’s Wells venue will also include a new choreographic centre and will be part of the East Bank project alongside UAL’s London College of Fashion, BBC, UCL and the V&A in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution.  



About Jonzi D

Jonzi D is the foremost advocate for hip hop theatre, changing the profile and heavily influencing the development of Britain’s hip hop dance and theatre scene over the past two decades. He’s an MC, dancer, spoken word artist and an established performer in his own right. Jonzi is a graduate from the London Contemporary Dance School and an Associate Artist at Sadler’s Wells. He has toured his own work internationally and is regularly invited to judge international dance competitions. 


Since founding Breakin’ Convention in 2004 Jonzi has triumphed in both raising the profile and giving a platform to hip hop disciplines; Breakin’ Convention has gained worldwide recognition as being at the vanguard of the art form’s development. Through professional development projects including Open Art Surgery and Back to the Lab, Jonzi has supported hundreds of hip hop dance and rap/poetry artists on their journey to creating theatre. His critically acclaimed works include Lyrikal Fearta (1995), Aeroplane Man (1999), TAG… Just Writing My Name (2006), Markus the Sadist (2009) and The Letter: To Be, Or To MBE (2013). Jonzi has been featured in HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, had his short films Silence da Bitchin’ & Aeroplane Man screened on Channel 4, toured his work extensively all over the world and delivered his own TED talk about the influence and evolution of hip hop culture.

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